PDA Shipments Reached Record High in Second Quarter of 2006

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Worldwide PDA shipments totaled 3.7 million units in the second quarter of 2006 a 2.7% increase from the second quarter of 2005 according to Gartner. This was the highest PDA shipment total of any second quarter on record. Much of the growth in the PDA market in the second quarter of 2006 was generated by vendors that were not among the first tier one year ago such as Mio Technology Motorola and Danger Research.

Meanwhile, last year's first-tier vendors - Research In Motion (RIM), Palm, Hewlett- Packard and Dell - have had steady-to-declining shipments.

"The ongoing integration of WAN technology into PDAs, and the marketing push of these devices by wireless operators has produced most of the growth compared to one year ago," said Todd Kort, principal analyst in Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group.

"The average selling price of PDAs fell by 6 percent from one year ago to US$373, mostly due to aging product lines, the increasing impact of wireless operator subsidies and relatively few new PDAs being launched thus far in 2006," Mr. Kort said. "As a result, worldwide PDA end-user revenue fell by 4.1 percent from one year ago to USD1.38 billion in the second quarter of 2006."

Worldwide: Preliminary PDA Vendor Shipment Estimates, 2Q06 (Units)

 2Q06 Shipments2Q06 Market Share (%)2Q05 Shipments2Q05 Market Share (%)2Q05- 1Q06 Growth (%)
Research In Motion830,72022.5840,00023.3-1.1
Mio Technology303,3778.2183,4535.165.4
Others1,545,596   41.81,209,272   33.6   27.8
Total3,696,404   100.03,600,258   100.02.7

Notes: Totals do not include smartphones, such as the Treo 700w and BlackBerry 71xx, but include cellular PDAs, such as the iPAQ 69xx and Nokia E61. Source: Gartner Dataquest (August 2006)

Despite a PDA shipment decline of 1.1%, RIM was still the worldwide leader, accounting for 22.5% of worldwide PDA shipments. RIM shipped nearly 1.3 million BlackBerry units in the second quarter of 2006, up 41% from one year ago. However, 467,000 units are excluded from this analysis because these BlackBerry 71xx models are classified as smartphones.

"There are quite a few more cellular PDA models with keyboards in the market now than there were one year ago, but none are seriously challenging RIM's strong position in enterprise accounts," Mr. Kort said.

Palm's PDA shipments declined 27% from the same period last year. However, Gartner analysts pointed out that this wasn't such a bad performance considering that Palm has not introduced any new PDAs since late 2005, and the company is focused on the Treo. Treo shipments totaled 656,000, but these are excluded from Gartner's PDA numbers because they are smartphones.

HP's iPAQ business continued to struggle in the second quarter as its shipments fell 15%, its worst quarter in nearly four years. The new iPAQ 69xx series began shipping in Europe in July, providing some hope for a reversal of this slide.

Mio Technology has succeeded with a PDA product line that is focused on GPS navigation. Mio is now the largest PDA vendor in Europe, and it is ranked second behind HP in the Asia/Pacific region.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile extended its lead over other PDA platforms, as it accounted for 54.2% of PDA OS shipments. RIM OS accounted for 22.5% of the market, followed by Palm OS at 13.4%.

Gartner defines a PDA as a data-centric handheld computer weighing less than one pound that is primarily designed for use with both hands. These devices use an open market operating system supported by third-party applications that can be added into the device by end users. They offer instant on/off capability and synchronization of files with a PC. A PDA may offer WAN support for voice, but these are data-first, voice-second devices. Smartphones offer all the attributes of a PDA, except that smartphones are voice-centric and are designed for primarily a one-handed operation."

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